We checked the weather report - cloudy, followed by rain, followed by cloud, followed by rain.
In other words, if you go out, you will get soaked, if you stay in, the weather will be fine.
We went out.
The weather stayed fine, but pretty cold.
The plan was to potter around the gardens near the house, especially the Winter Garden, to see if the early flowers were out, have a cup of tea and a snack lunch, come home.
I certainly didn't expect sunshine, and roses... just a few in the sheltered rose gardens.
The way to the winter garden goes through the vegetable gardens; if you've got a camera, it's easy to see what's going on inside the heated beds...
Although it took a few goes to get a photograph when you can't see what you are taking, or see the button to press:
Just look at those lettuces!
There weren't many flower in the winter garden - mainly cyclamen and aconites. I reckon it would be a good idea to plant these, and more snowdrops and other bulbs in the similarly dark and damp ground at the bottom of our the garden. Nothing else seems to like it there.
I wonder if the netting is there to stop the squirrels from digging up the bulbs? We've got a lot of squirrels here too. These are the thick yew hedges which protect the rose garden.
And here's who lives deep inside them! I was able to get quite close.
I wasn't the only one warmly wrapped up against the weather. At first I thought it was some new art installation, replacing the statuary with shiny white glazed pottery, or maybe plastic features.
As we left, the first few drops of rain fell. We took an "alternative route" through increasingly heavy rain along twisty single track lanes through the Surrey Hills. At one village the roads were covered with white - what? Some of the flowering cherry trees have been in full flower but it didn't look like blossom. It looked more like a strange bubbles.
We discovered the answer closer to home, when we were suddenly hit by a volley of hail and the roads became slippery from the ball-bearing sized bits of ice coating the everywhere.
In a short pause between hail showers we made a cautious dash across the while pavement to the front door. At least, he did; I went straight into my car to get petrol ready for the week ahead. I knew that if I went inside the house first, I'd never manage to make myself go out again.
And when I got home, I managed to remember to leave it in gear, with the handbrake off. When it gets really cold, the handbrake cable freezes on causing all kinds of problems getting to work.
I've knitted a special "had and scarf" for the gear leaver and steering wheel, to remind me to sort everything out BEFORE I start the engine in the morning.